Literary Recomendations

 
 

Looking for a good Catholic book?

  Explore the faith through the words of great
Catholic authors! 

   Perfect for book clubs or personal enrichment,
this list is sure to strengthen your
Catholic faith!

 
 

 Una Fides Catholic Book Club Reading List
CLRP = Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan selection; 100 = One hundred Great Catholic Books selection

American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom by Sen. Rick Santorum

As I Lay Dying: Meditations Upon Returning by Fr. Richard Neuhaus (Priest nears death and ponders the complexities of life and the Christian promise of eternal life.)

Battle for the American Church by Msgr. Kelly (contemporary, factual look at the Catholic Church in America today; short)

Battle of Villa Fiorita by Romar Godden (fictional novel of a woman's pursuit of a passionate love and its affects on everyone)

Beyond Love by Dominick Lapierre (chronicles the AIDS epidemic, research and the opening of an AIDS hospice center in Manhattan by Mother Teresa)

A Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset 100, CLRP (first of a trilogy saga set in 14th century Norway; great read)

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh 100, CLRP (award winning, complex novel set in aristocratic England before WW11 looks at human relationships and faith)

Catherine of Siena: Vision Through a Distant Eye by Susan Noffke (factual look at this 14th century saint's life & work-being the first woman to be published)

Catholic Matter: Confusion, Controversy and the Splendor of Truth by Fr. Richard Neuhaus

City of God by St. Augustine CLRP (written in 5th century this is a very difficult read looking at the comparison of the Christian & pagan worlds-theological classic)

The Comedians by Graham Greene (chilling & prophetic novel by award-winning Catholic fiction author)

The Complete Stories by Flannery O'Connor CLRP (considered the 21st century's best short story writer, stories are vivid, wry, tragic & shocking-set in the south)

The Courage to be Catholic by George Weigel (this contemporary columnist & theologian looks at causes, effects & solutions to current crisis facing Catholic Church)

Creed or Chaos by Dorothy Sayers (short argument on why doctrine & dogma are vital to the Christian faith)

Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church by Stephen Ray (account of the Ray's conversion to Catholicism and how they discovered the historically established Catholic Church; great instruction included)

Dear & Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell (historical novel of St. Luke-great detail & insight)

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (historical novel based on the lives of 2 French priests who organize the new Roman Catholic diocese of new Mexico)

The Death of a Pope by Piers Read. (faith-driven theological thriller; story of intrigue, church espionage, and an attempt to destroy the longest continuous government in the world-the Papacy.)

The Dumb Ox by G.K. Chesterton CLRP (historical novel about St. Thomas Aquinas, short)

Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh (factual biography of well educated man, turned priest who is martyred during the English Reformation)

The End of Present World by Fr. Amingjon (Church teaching?End times)

Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st Century Church by George Weigel (ideas on how the church can answer the pope's call, includes history going back to Pope Leo XIII)

The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton CLRP (classic apologetic work affirms human uniqueness & the unique message of the Christian faith--written in a time when social Darwinism was rampant.)

Everything You Wanted to Know About Heaven but Never Dreamed of Asking by Peter Kreeft (interesting insights on the nature of Heaven that speaks to the mind and heart)

Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser (Fraser a bestselling author of English history and a contemporary historian, writes a detective story and commentary on Catholic social and religious history in England in the late 16th and early 17th century)

Father Joe: The Man who Saved My Soul by Tony Hendra (The author reflects back on how a monk helped him in his faith walk from his teenage years through adulthood.)

The Fathers Know Best: Your Essential Guide to the Teachings of the Early Church by Jimmy Akin

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy by Romar Godden (Loyola Classis novel of shame & redemption set in France after WW11; short easy read)

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis (summarizes four kinds of human love--affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God; masterful without being magisterial, this book's wise, gentle, candid reflections on the virtues and dangers of love is a great read)

The Golden Thread by Louis de Wohl (well-written novel about St. Ignatius Loyola and his times)

The Global Vatican: An Inside Look at the Catholic Church, World Politics & the Extraordinary Relationship between the US and the Holy See by Ambassador Francis Rooney (includes history of the Vatican's diplomatic relations with the USA)

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis (an intellectual giant of the 20th Century, Lewis uses fable and allegory to examine good and evil, grace and judgment; a classic)

The Great Lion of God by Taylor Caldwell (historical biography about St. Paul; great read)

Helena by Evelyn Waugh CLRP (historical fiction novel based on the life of Constantine (the first Christian emperor) the Great's mother and her search for the True Cross in fourth century Palestine after a life of imperial politics)

How the Catholic Church BUILT Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods. Jr. (wonderful account of all the Catholic Church has done including science, economics, law, art, charity, philosophy, etc. since the fall of Rome)

Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis CLRP, 100 (classic, second only to the Bible for religious instruction and inspiration, is written in a candid and conversational style, the topics include liberation from worldly inclinations, preparation & consolations of prayer, and Eucharistic communion in a devout life.)

The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi. CLRP, 100 (the first part of a 3-part, 14th-century epic poem, Divine Comedy. It is an allegory telling of the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the Roman poet, Virgil.

Inside Islam: Guide for Catholics: 100 Questions and Answers by Daniel Ali & Robert Spencer (good, easy to read book that covers all the basic Islamic tenets with Catholic theology)

Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI (rich, long, sophisticated look at Jesus' life starting with his baptism to transfiguration using detailed references from the Old & New Testament)

Joan of Arc by Mark Twain (historical fiction-Twain's favorite novel)

A Journey from the Head to the Heart & Beyond by Fr. Stephen Valenta (deals with spiritual growth in your prayer life and our relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)

Katherine by Ann Seton (classic epic, romance novel tells the true story of a love affair set in the 14th century; great read)

The Last Letters of Thomas More CLRP (collection of letters More wrote the 2 years before his execution by Henry VIII)

Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilbagiza (factual account of a Rwandan genocide survivor who hid in a tiny bathroom for 91 days and later became a messenger of God's incredible grace)

The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary CLRP Visions from Anna Catherine Emmerick (renowned mystic gives an in-depth account of our lady's ancestry, birth & life)

Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen CLRP (total look at Christ's life, particularly through the gospels)

The Lord by Romano Guardini CLRP (explores life & words of Jesus; long, somewhat difficult)

Lukewarmness: The Devil in Disguise by Francisco Carvajal (explains how lukewarmness creeps in & how you can get rid of it; short)

The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers (biography of Christ by well known Catholic author; written in a play format)

Memory and Identity by Pope John Paul II (each chapter discusses challenges & issues the Pope faced during his turbulent time)

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis CLRP (renown author sets out a rational basis for Christianity thru fundamental truths-classic Christian apologetics)

Milestones by Cardinal Ratzinger (autobiography of the first 50 years of Ratzinger's life; short & insightful)

My God: An Autobiography of Faith by William F. Buckley (story of this well-educated man's growth in faith and Catholic events in his life)

My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell (a young woman's faith grows as she searches for the meaning of life in light of contemporary feminism and the lives of 6 female saints)

Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles: In the Lives of the Saints by Joan Carroll Cruz (Listing of saints and their miracles performed and interesting things they were able to do)

Our Lady of Kibeho by Immaculee Illibagazia (Factual accounting of 8 visionaries in the remote village of Kibeho, Rwanda who gave messages of God's love, but warned of the looming holocaust.)

Postcard from the Volcano: A Novel of Pre-War Germany by Lucy Beckett (novel of life in Prussia during the two world wars, showing the growth of anti-Jewish sentiment in the area, and how Catholic thinking shaped the main characters' lives)

The Poor One of Nazareth by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga (writer by Spanish born priest who has written numerous Catholic books; Fr. Ignacio is famous for his international Prayer and Life Workshops; this book is about Jesus Christ and his life.)

Praying While You Work: Devotions for the Use of Martha Rather than Mary by Hubert von Zeller CLRP (small, easy to read look at how you can enhance your spiritual life in daily living)

Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly (explores the meaning and purpose in life and the beauty of the Catholic Church)

The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander 100 (spiritual classic by one of the most popular Catholic writers of modern time; depicts the intimately human side of Mary using theological teaching and wonderful imagery.)

Render unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life by Archbishop Chaput (using historical arguments and wisdom from the world's greatest thinkers, Catholics are called to live their faith without compromise, renewing of American society)

Revelations of Divine Love by Mother Julian of Norwich 100 (account of 16 visions which appeared to Mother Julian (English anchoress & mystic 1342-1416) along with her meditations of the experience)

Salvation is from the Jews by Roy Schoeman (an in-depth study of the role of Jews and Judaism in God's plan for salvation from Abraham to the Second Coming)

Saving Those Damn Catholics by Judie Brown (written by one of the most prolific contemporary Catholic writers, providing commentary & analysis from perspective of Church doctrine & chronicles the reasons why there is a current mess within the American Catholic Church)

The Scarlet and the Black by J.P. Gallagher (true story of Msg. O'Flaherty. The Scarlet Pimpernel, during WWII)

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis CLRP (Christian fictional classic looking at the thinking & means of temptation)

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (autobiography and intense love story; inspirational, easy read & very thought provoking)

The Seven Storey Mountain by Fr. Thomas Merton 100, CLRP (autobiography of young man who leaves literary career in New York to enter a monastery in Kentucky, from where he then proceeded to become one of the most influential writers of this century)

The Shadow of His Wings by Fr. Goldman (true story of the harrowing experiences of a young German seminarian drafted into Hitler's dreaded SS, imprisonment & missionary work in Japan

Silence by Shusaku Endo CLRP, 100 (extremely intense historical novel set in 16th century Japan)

The Spirituality of Fasting: Rediscovering a Christian Practice by Fr. Murphy (the history and reasons for fasting.)

A Still Small Voice: Practical Guide on Reported Revelations by Benedict Groeschel (practical guide to dealing with private revelations, visions, and other phenomena)

The Stories of the the Old Testament: A Catholic's Guide by Jim Campbell (very short stories of Old Testament figures)

The Story of a Soul Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux CLRP, 100 (Written in obedience to her superior and published two years after her death, it is an account of the eleven years of her religious life, marked by graces and constant growth in holiness.)

Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life by Elizabeth Scalia (A blog writer shows the golden calves in our current culture that keep us from interacting more with God.)

The Strength of a Woman by Amy LeBlanc (Heroines from the Bible retell their own story of faith in God and love for Him. Every tale starts with a relevant Scripture quotation.)

Swear to God, The Promise & Power of the Sacraments by Scott Hahn (detailed understanding of sacraments, oaths & covenants by one of America's foremost apologists)

The Templars, Knights of Christ by Regine Pernoud (a researched, unadorned history of the Templars)

Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25 cents at a Time by Judith Knuth (easy reading story of a woman's volunteer work at St. Vincent de Paul)

Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know by Diane Moczar (easy reading for any Catholic who wants to understand the history of our Faith but with renewed confidence that no matter how dark & dangerous the times may be, God has never abandoned his people)

Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony DeStefano (offers insights and practical wisdom to anyone looking for answers on the meaning and value of a prayer life)

The End of the Present World by Fr. Armingjon (taken from a series of conferences on turning thoughts away from this life's mean material affairs-and toward the next life's glorious spiritual reward)

A Travel Guide to Heaven by Anthony DeStefano (fascinating, comforting "tour of heaven")

The Twelve: The Lives of the Apostles after Calvary by Bernard Ruffin (Scripture, tradition, and historical documents are woven to describe the lives of each of Christ's closest followers.)

True Devotion to Mary by Louis De Montfort CLRP (written in 16th century to explain spiritual effects which true devotion to Mary bring; considered by some to be the best book written about Mary)

Triumph, The Power & the Glory of the Catholic Church by H. W. Crocker, III (entire history of Catholic Church; long but easy to read)

War is My Parish by Dorothy Grant (heroic stories of clergy during WWII)

What Jesus Saw from the Cross by A. G. Sertillangess (devotional work, written largely to deepen the Lenten meditations of the Christian faithful by being at the foot of the Cross)

What were the Crusades by Jonathan Riley-Smith (a good short introduction to a vast subject of the Crusades-why & how they started, what they did)

Will Catholics be "Left Behind" by Carl Olson (detailed look at contemporary beliefs of various faiths concerning "end times")

With God in Russia by Walter Ciszek (remarkable, true story of American priest's 23 year imprisonment in Russia's Siberia)

The World of St. Paul by Joseph Callewaert (story of what St. Paul's everyday life and his world was like when St. Paul was living)

The World's First Love by Fr. Fulton Sheen (story of Mary, examining Marian beliefs with the premise that devotion to Mary cannot be separated from devotion to her Son, Jesus)

Updated 9/2014

 

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